The Drexel basketball team had lost four in a row before taking on visiting Bucknell tonight, and it had failed to reach 60 points in each of its previous seven games.

At least for one night, the Dragons solved both problems in a nonleague contest at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.

Drexel center Frank Elegar, who went scoreless in 13 first-half minutes after picking up two fouls and heading to the bench, collected all 16 of his points after the break to help the Dragons hold off Bucknell, 65-53, in front of 2,011 fans.

The 6-foot-9 senior entered the game needing 13 points to reach 1,000 for his career. He achieved the milestone from the free-throw line with 1 minute, 49 seconds left to put Drexel up by 59-48.

Elegar, who came to Drexel from the Bronx, N.Y., as a project, also surpassed the 500-rebound mark, collecting four tonight.

"He's a big success story for us," said Drexel coach Bruiser Flint, whose team improved to 6-5.

The Dragons, who led by 19 at halftime, saw Bucknell (4-6) close to 44-36 with 9:25 remaining. It took a while for Drexel to shake the visitors.

"When you play bad, you're going to lose," Flint said of his team's recent performances. "We're going to have to play better, and if we play better, we win. They made some tough shots in the second half. We just had to keep playing with confidence on the offensive end."

With the win, Drexel took a 15-14 edge the all-time series with Bucknell. The teams had not met since the Dragons handed the visiting Bison a 92-81 defeat during the 1991-92 season.

Bucknell, which went 22-9 last season and ended the regular season as cochampions of the Patriot League, was coming off an 88-75 victory at home over preseason Ivy League favorite Cornell.

Bison coach Pat Flannery, a Bucknell graduate who was the only player to lead the team in assists four straight years, was an assistant at Drexel under Eddie Burke when the Dragons earned their first NCAA tournament berth in 1985-86.

Flannery's squad this year is led in scoring and assists by Philadelphia native John Griffin, a 6-1 senior guard from St. Joseph's Prep who entered the game averaging 15.1 points.

Griffin, who went 0 for 5 from the floor before intermission, sparked Bucknell during the final 20 minutes and topped the Bison in scoring with 11 points.

"We fought back to the point where we had an opportunity, and if some of our shots fell at certain points, maybe it could have been a different outcome," Flannery said.

Drexel, behind 5-of-10 shooting from three-point range, grabbed a 34-15 at the break.

Dragons guard Scott Rodgers, who had a game-high 18 points, led all scorers with 13 points in the first half, including 3-for-6 shooting from afar.

Meanwhile, reserve big-man Kenny Tribbett sparked Drexel with eight points, including back-to-back buckets down low that kicked off a 12-6 run that gave his team a 22-13 lead with 8:35 left in the half.